Put that damn cow down!
Even if you’re not a veggie munching vegan, there are a multitude of reasons why you should skip eating animal products more often. Forget about the veggie dogs and garden burgers, though. (Yuck!) Those are swear words in my household. In celebration of summer finally arriving, see below for some delicious and satisfying options to throw on your barbeque.
1. Portobello Mushrooms
First off, as it turns out, there is more than one correct way to spell this type of mushroom, which can only speak to its versatility in the culinary arena. Find your favorite marinade (this is mine), scoop out the black inside gills, soak for just 20 minutes and grill! This is great on its own or in a bun with your favorite vegan toppings.
2. Veggie Skewers
Cut them up, spear them, baste with sauce or go au naturel, and lay them on the barbeque. I personally love adding a sweet & spicy sauce for a bit of kick. For a traditional option, add: large chunks of onion, mushrooms, bell peppers, zucchini and cherry tomatoes. For a kebab with a bit of flair, add: slices of corn on the cob, extra firm tofu chunks, pineapple, red onion, and Japanese eggplant.
3. Sliced Potato Packs
Slice up a red into thin slices (the size of thick potato chips) and lay on a piece of tin foil. Slide in some sliced sweet yellow onion, a little salt and pepper and a tablespoon of Earth Balance spread. Fold into a pouch, puncture a few steam holes in the top and grill. Keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t burn! This is just a familiar basic recipe, which is delicious as is, but please experiment with different types of potatoes and seasonings!
4. Corn on the Cob
Now this is a summery vegan staple. Strip, grill and eat! Add some Earth Balance and salt for traditional flavor enhancements, or mix up a spicy or tangy sauce to slather on instead. Serve with a fresh spinach salad and a vegan friendly pasta salad and you have the perfect summer meal.
5. Grilled Pizzas
Oh, yes. There are many grilled pizza ideas available on the internet to choose from. First, pick your best crust recipe. Make sure to grill one side, flip and then add your favorite sauce, toppings, fresh herbs and nutritional yeast. Continue grilling until the crust is done. This method gives the pizza an authentic wood fired taste. Add some vegan wine and you’re set for an easy dinner.
6. Barbeque Fajitas
PETA offers an amazing fajita recipe that can be served with your favorite guacamole. Why not add margaritas or a vegan beer to the menu and save this idea for a Friday night?
Fruit grills just as nicely as vegetables do. My favorite: thick apple slices and pineapple rings. Add cinnamon and brown sugar to both when they’re hot off the grill and enjoy with your favorite non-dairy “ice cream.” If you want to get really fancy, add different flavors to your fruit pre-grill such as rum, coconut, lime juice and even red chilies for a sweet and spicy variation.
If you’re having a summer party, do yourself a favor and make a few (or all) of these dishes to serve. Each of these options have been tried and tested on yours truly (a new vegan), as well as my family. You can’t go wrong with these kid approved and compassionate summer cook-outs.
Assistant ed: Catherine Monkman
Ed: Kate Bartolotta